Cougars cap off first half of season with 8-2 win

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By Peter Kung

November 23, 2013, SAANICH, B.C. (ISN) – The Victoria Cougars capped off the first half of the season with a convincing 8-2 win over the Saanich Braves on Friday night. And convincing it was.

12 different players made it onto the score sheet as Victoria won for the fifth straight time.

The Cougars, who less than 24 hours ago took the opening game of an all-important home-and-home series, scored five times in the second period against Saanich’s rookie backup goalie Matthew Rud.

Rud got the start in net after Jordan Werezak was torched for five goals on 36 shots yesterday.

With the win, Victoria improved to 19-3-1-1 on the season.

Leading the charge with three points apiece were Blake Roney (2 goals, 1 assist) and Jake Daughtry (1 goal, 2 assists). Also lighting the lamp were Michael Fretz, Marino Somerville, Patrick Webb, Nick Lyons, and Liam Carradine.

Cam MacKay had a career high three assists while Wade Johnson and Graham Zagrodney each chipped in with two helpers.

After Josh Poland tied the game at 1-1 early in the second period, the Cougars reeled off five unanswered goals before former Comox Valley Glacier Kings great Wade Bartlett cut the deficit to 6-2.

Daughtry began the onslaught at 2:01.

Then a nice tape-to-tape pass from Daughtry at 5:20 led to Somerville scoring from the slot for his eighth goal of the season.

Roney showed great patience on the next goal. Having could of shot, Roney waited until Ryan Carson set up a screen in front of Rud before twinkling the twine for his first of two goals at 11:23.

Just over two and a half minutes later, Webb fired a wrist shot that deflected off Rud before trickling past the goal line.

Lyons gave Victoria a 6-1 lead with a backhander for his first goal of the season at 16:52. It was also the first point for the former Vancouver NW Giants defenseman.

The third period began the same way as the second period for the Braves who scored early. At 1:46, Bartlett, who scored 14 goals for Comox Valley last year, pounced on a loose puck and fired it past Connor Beauchamp for a power play goal.

Roney notched his second goal of the game and his 15th goal of the season after tipping home a Zagrodney point shot at 13:12.

Then with two minutes and 24-seconds remaining in regulation, Carradine, on a power play, closed out the scoring for his second goal in as many games.

The Cougars went 2-for-6 with the man advantage while Saanich went 1-for-8.

Shots on goal favoured Victoria, outshooting the Braves 11-2 in the first period, 16-5 in the second, and 11-7 in the third for a game total of 38-14.

Saanich, who fell to 7-15-1-1 on the season, dropped its eighth game in a row.

The Cougars opened scoring at 16:56 for the only marker of the first period on a power play goal from Fretz.

In Peninsula, Stephen Heslop stopped 25 shots as the hometown Panthers upended the North Island Division leading Nanaimo Buccaneers 3-2.

And in Campbell River, Brayden Taekema scored 21 seconds into overtime to lift the Storm to a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the visiting Glacier Kings.

Next game for Victoria is Thursday, November 28 against the Kerry Park Islanders. Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:00 p.m.

THREE STARS:

1st star, Unannounced

2nd star, Unannounced

3rd star, Unannounced

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